A COUPLE of weeks ago, building work began on a four-star hotel on the site which used to house the Avenue Palace cinema. Plans are for the new premises, which will cost in the region of 20 million euros, to open at the beginning of 2007. The building, which was acquired in 1999 by “Rustic” property dealers, was originally constructed by Gabriel Tarongi Pomar in 1942. Ever since that date, it had been home to the central Palma cinema which was managed by the same family until the Eighties when the business was rented to “Salas” leisure company. In 1999, Paul Tarongi, grandson of the original proprietor said: “When it was built, the structure was the highest in Palma. From its rooftops, tests were made to set up the first transmission in the Balearics of Spanish national television.” “Rustic” confirmed that “the front of the building is officially catalogued as architectural heritage so it cannot be destroyed. The only thing we can do is recondition it. The rest of the building, however, will be new and will entail a full complement of guest room and restaurant facilities. The property is located on a prime site in Palma, a city which has never laid claim to a hotel of this nature in its midst.” The ground floor which looks out onto the Avenidas running through the heart of Palma is to house a quality restaurant in traditional style “which will serve as a meeting point for locals and visitors alike.” The establishment has not as yet been named as the proprietors are still tossing up between Hotel Avenida or Hotel Cine Avenida. Some months ago, “Rustic” also began reconstruction work on the Azul Playa hostel in Ciutat Jardi, another of their properties.

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